Monday, December 8, 2014

3 Months

Kjære Familie,

This week is a English fast for the whole mission, which means that we will only speak Norwegian for this week.... I let ya know how that goes :) We have seen so many miracles here in Ålesund this week!  I guess that's why they like to call this place Miracle-sund :) On Wednesday, we met with Yan again (I know i know... I told you his name was Yen... but it's Yan).  Before meeting, we looked through his progress record since he was a previous investigator and it said that the missionaries had stopped meeting with him because he worked all day every Sunday and couldn't progress if he didn't come to church.  So we decided that for this lesson with him, we were going to address that.  We asked him about coming to church, expecting a little bit of a fight, but instead he said that he couldn't make it this week, and he leaves Tuesday for Shanghai, but as soon as he comes back, he's going to stop working on sundays so he can come to church!! It was so cool! He then told us that he has read in the Book of Mormon every day since meeting with us last, and he has read the Restoration pamplet over and over again.  He's so incredible!  He leaves for Shanghai on Tuesday, but we will be in touch doing skype lessons with him while he's gone.

Saturday was FULL TO THE BRIM of miracles!!! Around noon, we got a text from a girl we had given a pass along card to and she said "Hey this is Taylor, that girl you met on the bus a few weeks ago. How are you?" She is from Canada and works here in Ålesund.  We give cards to lots of people so it took me a second to remember who it was, but we got an appointment with her and hopefully all will go well with that.  

We were contacting on the street, and I kid you not, EVERYONE was listening to us.  We had a lot of really cool conversations with people.  We met one man from Morocco, who was a tourist from one of the cruise ships that come in almost everyday, he was going to be leaving, but we got his number and email and asked if our friends could visit him when he gets home.  He told us that he would love that! After about that half hour of contacting, we decided that we would try to visit one of our members named Øystein who we haven't been able to get contact with.  I have only met him once and it was shortly after I came to Ålesund.  He has really severe depression and will rarely come out of his apartment.  So for the last couple months we have been leaving notes, and general conference talks in his mailbox and just praying for him.  But Saturday, we tried going to his apartment to visit him and none of the doorbells were working, and the door to the building was locked... We waited there a few seconds longer that we normally would have, then headed back up the street to go somewhere else.  As we were walking up the street, a man came walking the other direction and I thought...Wait, is that him? I couldn't remember very well what he looked like, but Søster Buhler and I decided to go creeper status and follow this guy back to the apartment building.  It ended up being Øystein, and he smiled when he saw us and we got to talk to him for a little while!  He told us that in the last two months he has read the Book of Mormon 2 and a half times!! and that he was excited to come back to church when he gets his emotions back under control. It was SUCH a miracle!!!

After about ten minutes, he went inside, and we immediately got a text from Arthur, a guy we met about a week ago at a bus stop, saying that he was in Ålesund city and he had about 25 minutes that he could meet with us if we wanted to.  He comes from Latvia, so we ran from Øystiens apartment to ours to get a Latvian Book of Mormon for him, then we ran to meet him at the bus terminal.  Since he didn't have much time, we met right there inside the terminal with lots of people around.  We showed him the Book of Mormon and explained that we wanted to tell him more about it.  So we taught him about the Restoration and about Joseph Smith. And even though we were in a crowded bus terminal, we could all feel the Spirit so strong!  We asked him if he would commit to reading the Book of Mormon every day, and he said "Yeah, I'll definitely do that" Then we asked him if he would pray to find out if Joseph Smith was really a prophet of God, and he said, "I can promise you that".  He is SO COOL!!! Afterward, he even taught us how to read Latvian! :) 

So that was all within about 4 hours on Saturday... just miracle after miracle. Then on Sunday, Eirik received the priesthood!!!!!!!! :) It was incredible to see! He is doing so well and is one of our most active members!

So just to answer some questions: The word "Koselig" is that word that Eline told us about and it is what all Norwegians search for! It's so funny. Here in Norway, is doesn't matter how big your house is... it matters how koselig it is! the cozier the better! :) We love describing to people that that is what the spirit feels like.  I'm not sure when exactly we'll be skyping on Christmas... or even where I will be for Christmas. We might go up to Trondheim on Christmas day, since we have a Christmas conference up the on the 26th anyway... I wouldn't know how to do google hangout, but if Steve or someone can figure it out, I'm all for that! :) I'll keep ya posted on time though... it will probably be in the morning time for you guys and night time for me :) Søster Buhler is INCREDIBLE!! And we are so similar!! We work really well together and I am just so grateful for her everyday! :) I love my companion, I love Ålesund and I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!! :)

I love you all SO much! thanks for keeping me updated on everybodies mission calls, christmas trees... and uh... MY SISTER GETTING TO SING FOR APOSTALES!!???What? and meeting president Uctdorf?? So cool! I hope she never forgets that! Have an awesome week family! Vi snakkes!!!

-Søster Heywood

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Many are COLD, but few are FROZEN

December 1, 2014

Hey Familie!

Hvordan går det med dere? This last week has been fun with more and more Julelys, more and more snow on the mountains, and more and more people coming one step closer to the best message they will ever hear! :)

It's crazy to think that I've already been out 3 months. Some days it seems like I've been gone 3 years, but for the most part, I feel like I've been gone for about 3 days!! Time moves so fast, and people out here always say that your mission is like a sledding hill. It might start off slow, but when ya really get going, it goes SO FAST!  

We recently had a lady from Oslo give us refferals for three of her uncles living here in Ålesund, and when we contacted them, one of them invited us to come back another time! So this week we went to visit Uncle Martin and he invited us in, had us sit down, and we just started a nice conversation about how Søster Buhler and I love Norway and how Ålesund is so beautiful. Then he asked us about our favorite Norsk treats, and what things we liked to drink. (He wasn't sure which kind of tea we liked...) haha! But after getting our oppinion on Norwegian food, he got up and left the room. He was gone for about 5 minutes, then came back in and had us follow him to another room where he had set up a koselig little tea party with apple cider, pepperkaker, lefsa, julebrød, and a bunch of other delicious Norsk food! It was so nice!  While we sat and ate, we talked to him about the Book of Mormon that we left with him last time, and taught him about the Restoration.  It was so cool, and I'm pretty sure we'll be visiting with him again this week :)

On Saturday, we took the 2 hour bus ride to go and visit one of our members out in Vestnes, Helene.  She had been through a divorce and has two little boys named Brigham and Logan.  What? Are those American names?? Yes they are! Her ex-husband, (Who is also a member) is origianally from Logan Utah! And the man that she is dating now, John, is also from Logan Utah! Small world eh? John told us all about his mission in Illinois that he served, and asked us questions about our mission here. It was so nice, and so cool to have a little peice of home (kinda) here in Norway! :)

Our progressing investigator right now is Yen, and he was actually a former investigator that we found a few weeks ago in the area book.  He is from China, and I'm pretty sure he speaks better Norwegian, and English than me.... haha! He is so smart! He never believed in God before coming here to Norway, but then things happened in his life that he told us couldn't have been coincidences. We taught him about the Restoration and about Joseph Smith and he was like, "yeah, I think that could be true, but how do I find out?"  Well, Yen, buddy boy, we've got the answer for that!! The only hard part is that he works all day Sundays... but we'll work through that!

Fred, our Branch President was gone this Sunday and he is usually the only priesthood holder to bless and pass the sacrament, so this week we had to rely on one of our less active/new convert members to come and bless the sacrament.  Church begins at 12, and by 12:20, he still hadn't come, but as we were having Sunday school, he walked in.  So along with Thanksgiving this week I am thankful for the preisthood!! In fact, Eirik should be getting the preisthood next Sunday!! :) It will be so great!

We still don't have any snow in the city, though we do in the mountains. Last Tuesday, we had a Relief Society activity where we made things to put in the church's window display for Christmas. (I'll send pictures nest week).  We made a big nativity set in one of the windows and in the other one, we put a tree, wrapped some presents, and had signs saying "He is the Gift". Which brings me to the next thing...

EVERYONE! If you haven't already, go to, and watch the He is the Gift video, then show it to everybody. We as missionaries are really focusing on that this month and sharing that message with everyone that we meet.  I'm so excited to see what comes of it throughout the whole world!! :)

Well, family! I love you all SOOO much and I love hearing about everything back at home!! I'm excited to talk to you all in a few weeks!! :) :) Keep up the prayers!!

Love, Søster Heywood

Many are COLD, but few are FROZEN


Kjære Familie,

Happy Thanksgiving this week!! Funny story with that... Here in Norway, they don't have Thanksgiving, but Åse Marie asked me a few wekks ago when it was, and I confidently answered that it was always the third Thursday in November..... But apparently that isn't true... so we had Thanksgiving a week early here in Ålesund :) Oh well! It was still fantastic.  Åse Marie made a delicious thanksgiving middag for us and Søster Buhler made a yummy apple crumble dessert and it was just incredible :) Even if it was a week early... whoops!

On Tuesday, we made the two hour trip to Molde by bus to have a district meeting. We usually do it over the phone, but once a month, the Elders from Kristiansund and the Søsters from Ålesund meet up in the middle, in Molde.  Our district leader is Elder Vause, and he is SO great!  I actually fell bad for the missionaries that don't get to have him for their district leader :)  We had an awesome meeting, ate some lunch then seperated to go back to Ålesund and Kristiansund.  Søster Buhler and I left Molde at about 2:30 in the afternoon and watched the sunset as we got on the bus... yeah... SUNSET!!! AT 2:30pm! Norway is crazy! The sun usually rises here around 9:30 ish then sets at three.  And it only gets darker... But that's ok! That just means that I get to bring light to people that are literally living in the dark! haha!

This past week was actually really hard for us.  It's exam time here in Ålesund and a lot of our appointments fell through... In fact, ALL of our appointments fell through... For the entire week.  WE did get to visit with quite a few less actives from our branch which was good, but all in all, it was a pretty discouraging week.  Yesterday we were dreading calling Elder Vause to give him our numbers for the week because we felt like complete failures.  On our way back to the apartment, we met this guy named Andreas.  We asked him if he believed in God and he told us he wasn't sure but he used to.  He asked us a lot of questions about what the purpose of life was and he really listened to what we had to say.  We showed him the Book of Mormon and told him that it strengthened our faith in God, then asked if he had ever heard of the Book before.  He said "No, but can you tell me more about it?" So right there, on the streets of Ålesund, in the POURING rain, we taught him the Restoration. He thought it was really cool and asked a lot of follow up questions. We asked if we could meet with him again soon, and he told us he was leaving the next day to go to Las Vegas to do some Christmas shopping....But that he would be back in a couple weeks, and that he would give us a call when he comes back. So we'll keep praying for that for sure. It was really a miracle to end the week.

To answer some questions: We have had snow, but just in the mountains, and it is GORGEOUS to look across the fjord and see the snow capped mountains with snow! AHH! I'll have to get ya a picture of it soon because it is just incredible! The language is coming pretty well and I can understand most of the people that we talk to. I sometimes find myself thinking in Norwegian... which is weird but good! :) Søster Buhler is doing surprisingly well understanding the dialect, though I have to tell her what some words mean because they are SO different.  For example, here they say "Ka" instead of "Hva" for "What".  It's pretty different and definitely takes some getting used to. We do have more than 5 members in the branch, there are just a lot that are less active right now, but not for long! Soon our little bakery meeting house will be filled, and they'll have to build us a chapel!  Søster Buhler and I do a musical number every week and one of us usually holds a talk as well. Giving talks in Norwegian has definitely been an adventure, but I've got to practice somehow eh?

:) I'm so happy to hear the play went well, and I definitely want to see lots of pictures next week :)That is SO cool that Tami was taught by the missionaries! Tell her that she can email me if she has questions too :)

I love you all SO much! and I'll talk to ya next week!!!
Ha det kjempe bra!
Love, Søster Heywood

p.s. You can just send packages to the regular Ålesund address :) and Christmas music (for the most part) is approved. 

p.p.s. The first picture is our district having it "coselig" in Molde.  The second is the picture of the 2:30 sunset :)

New Companion


Hei Familie!!!

This week has been insaaane! Søster Shaw is back in the US (super weird...) and my new companion is Søster Buhler!! The goodbye with Søster Shaw wasn't hard until I walked away and felt completely alone.  I had about a half hour to wait at the airport until Søster Buhler came.  It was super weird being without a companion for a little while... But yeah! I miss Søster Shaw like crazy! She is just incredible! Søster Buhler is from Washington and Oregon and she is half Japanese.  She LOVES quoting movies with me so that's pretty much spectacular, and she has such a love for missionary work.  She has been on her mission a little over a year and has served in Romerike, Oslo, and Trondheim.  We decided to use some of our finding time this week to go through the area book and call any previous investigators that we didn't know and just by doing that, we found 3 new investigators for this week!  Crazy things happening here in Ålesund.

Let's see... to answer some questions...Food!  The food here is AMAZING!!! We are never short on Norwegian chocolate, and yes I have eaten a lot of seafood!  Søster Buhler actually is an incredible cook so I'm lucky! Maybe she can teach me a thing or two eh?  The only treats I can think of write now that I miss from home are pumpkin cookies (of course) :) I always miss the pumpkin cookies! OOH! And I did finally come up with something that I would LOVE to have for this Christmas.  Lately I've been really wanting to listen to that Alabama Christmas CD (or cds... I think we have two...) So maybe a burned copy of those?  But that's about all I can think of :) haha!! 

Right now we are teaching a couple from Iceland, Thomas and Margarett.  They are super cool!! Thomas we have actually been teaching for a while, and he has really not much background as far as religion.  He asked a couple weeks ago if he could bring his girlfriend to one of our meetings and we were like... uh.... OF COURSE! haha!  She has a Christian background and is really interested in learning about our church! Thomas especially needs help right now taking a step and praying and reading the Book of Mormon.  He is a young kid (18\19ish) and he isn't much of a reader, so that's a step that's hard for him. 

A couple days before Søster Shaw left, we met a girl on the street named Iveta who comes from Slovakia.  That's one really cool thing about Ålesund... There are SO many people from all over the world! Anyway, we had a lesson with Iveta this week, and she told us that she usually never would talk to people on the street especially about religion.  She told us that she had had some Jehovahs Witnesses talk to her before and always got a scared feeling.  Then she told us "When I talked to you two girls, I didn't feel scared. I felt good."  It was so cool to see how the Spirit really works to soften the hearts of whoever we talk to so they can be open to this incredible message!  She grew up in the Catholic church, but REALLY doesn't like it.  We gave Iveta a Book of Mormon in her language, and asked her to pray abou it, and we'll hopefully be meeting with her again next week.  

Steinar has been telling us that he would like to read a little more in the Book of Mormon before he sets up a time to meet again with us.  He is really taking this seriously and wants to be sure before he continues, so keep him in your prayers as well!

One of our investigators, Oddney, (actually a former investigator who likes coming to the knitting activities we have) came to church on Sunday!! I was told that she hadn't come to church for a long time, and actually had kinda dropped the missionaries.  We still knew her through the knitting activities though.  but SHE CAME TO CHURCH!!! It was awesome!  And while Søster Buhler and I were up doing our musical number, she was sitting on the back row beaming!  I really think it was good for her, and I hope that it will open her back up to meeting with us again.  So keep Oddney in the family prayers!

One thing that I have learned this week is how important and powerful each individual person is.  Because we have such a small branch here, each member plays such a key role in it.  Every person is so important and vital to this work. We missionaries could never do this without our members that we have helping us.  They are so fantastic!

I love hearing about everything going on back at home!  And I expect to see pictures from Peter Pan soon!!! Take a video of it so I can watch it when I get home!!! I love you all SOOO much!! Keep praying for missionary oppurtunities and share the gospel with EVERYONE!  :) I'll talk to ya soon!!

glad i dere!
Søster Heywood